EDITORIAL: Time for Brizzi to heed calls to step down

 IBJ Staff
April 10, 2010
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IBJ Editorial

Carl Brizzi’s once-promising political career is coming to an end. He won’t become a mayor or a congressman or win election to any of the posts that seemed within his grasp when he was an up-and-coming Republican.

We say that with confidence not because anyone has charged him with a crime. It’s all about perception. He smeared himself by running in the same circles as financier Tim Durham, the ostentatious businessman who became Brizzi’s largest campaign contributor and now is the target of a federal securities-fraud probe.

And, as IBJ has chronicled in recent weeks, he cut deals—in business and in the Prosecutor’s Office—that raise questions about whether he put the potential for personal profit ahead of his responsibilities as Marion County prosecutor.

Brizzi, 41, now is dismissing calls for his resignation from leaders of both parties as “ridiculous.” But we join the chorus calling for him to step down and are incredulous that he’s trying to hang on until his second term concludes at year-end.

Consider what Brizzi himself wrote to supporters in December, as he was taking heat for his brief stint as a director of Fair Finance Co., an Akron, Ohio, firm co-owned by Durham that government investigators now suspect was a Ponzi scheme.

“As a public official, I am, understandably, held to a higher standard—and any association or action is subject to greater scrutiny,” Brizzi wrote.

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine an elected position in Indiana where impeccable ethics is more essential. As the top prosecutor in the state’s largest county, he has a tough job. His effectiveness is hindered if other players in the process—from deputy prosecutors and defense attorneys to defendants and sitting judges—perceive him as tainted by scandal.

To be sure, not everyone calling for Brizzi to step aside has the purest of motives. Republicans are eager to distance themselves from a politician with no political future. And Democrats are eager to use the controversies involving the prosecutor to cast doubt on the integrity of the entire GOP. The stakes are high as Democrats seek to return to the high-profile post for the first time in 16 years.

But this is more than a bunch of political posturing. Brizzi ruined his political career through his own bad judgment. Those lapses have hurt Brizzi’s ability to do his job—“to relentlessly pursue the bad guys,” as he likes to say. It’s time for him to stop putting his own interests ahead of the city’s and step down.

The Butler way

Butler University’s captivating NCAA tournament run was one of the most inspiring stories in college athletics in years.

The school graduates its players and plays basketball the right way—with tenacious defense and a true team philosophy.

The title game ended “just short of perfect,” as The Washington Post put it, with Gordon Hayward’s half-court shot rimming out, leaving Duke with a 61-59 victory.

“This was a game everyone will remember forever,” Post sports columnist John Feinstein wrote afterward.

“As corny as it might sound, no one lost this game. And the biggest winner wasn’t Duke—although the Blue Devils deserve all possible kudos for hanging on to win—it was the game of basketball.”•


  • from Hawaii arrest

    hahaha, don't worry Carl, this is tongue and cheek, but the Hawaii document's are in Russ's hands.....hahahahah
  • Scarey
    Wow, if Brizzi took money to provide cover for one's 'past' crimes, how much did he demand to provide cover for 'future' crimes; such as allowing a wealthy spouse to disappear and assuring a lack of prosecution. It would appear 'this' would have been an area greatly exploited by a man of Carl Brizzi's greed and ignorance. I believe they call it "conspiracy" and the conspiracies involves a LOT of people...Remember, we are dealing with the "PROSECUTORS OFFICE". The level of dealings contain factual scenerious very few of us see, and believe me they are INCREDIBLE and often extreme. Similar to the extreme behavior exhibited by not just Carl Brizzi, but the entire flock that belongs to the Marion County Republican Party and to some extent the State Party.

    Hoosiers have become so desensitized to the corruption in Indiana that the standards and bar has dropped extremely low and only REFORM activism followed by Legislative reform.

    Indiana = Tyranny
  • Sincerely
    The "sitting judge" clearly imports the judges Brizzi and his attorneys must present cases to, as opposed to retired judges, judges in Texas, John Paul Stevens, for instance.

    As an example, in today's paper there's a story about "sitting" Judge Eisgruber rejecting MCPO's argument for a 100 year sentence (made by the ineffective and equally ethically compromised David Wyser)for a murderer.

    Since Brizzi and Wyser have been all over the news, giving sweetheart deals to drug dealers and voluntarily reducing murderer's sentences shortly after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, this "sitting" judge simply disregarded MCPO's incredulousness and criticisms.

    Nixon once thought like Brizzi did too.
  • really?
    You are really going out on a limb here. Carlito Brizzi isn't going anywhere, and this bandwagon blather does nothing to change that. Why not continue down the investigation path and see where Carlito and Lil Mitch share some secret doings?

    By the way, what is the difference between a "sitting Judge" and any other Judge? maybe next time have a lawyer review your ramblings.

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  1. So as I read this the one question that continues to come to me to ask is. Didn't Indiana only have a couple of exchanges for people to opt into which were very high because we really didn't want to expect the plan. So was this study done during that time and if so then I can understand these numbers. I also understand that we have now opened up for more options for hoosiers to choose from. Please correct if I'm wrong and if I'm not why was this not part of the story so that true overview could be taken away and not just parts of it to continue this negative tone against the ACA. I look forward to the clarity.

  2. It's really very simple. All forms of transportation are subsidized. All of them. Your tax money already goes toward every single form of transportation in the state. It is not a bad thing to put tax money toward mass transit. The state spends over 1,000,000,000 (yes billion) on roadway expansions and maintenance every single year. If you want to cry foul over anything cry foul over the overbuilding of highways which only serve people who can afford their own automobile.

  3. So instead of subsidizing a project with a market-driven scope, you suggest we subsidize a project that is way out of line with anything that can be economically sustainable just so we can have a better-looking skyline?

  4. Downtowner, if Cummins isn't getting expedited permitting and tax breaks to "do what they do", then I'd be happy with letting the market decide. But that isn't the case, is it?

  5. Patty, this commuter line provides a way for workers (willing to work lower wages) to get from Marion county to Hamilton county. These people are running your restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and retail stores. I don't see a lot of residents of Carmel working these jobs.